An amazing website design and great products don’t guarantee a regular flow of targeted traffic. You’ll have to work for your visitors, and the more tactics you try, the greater your chances of success.
PPC advertising, search engine optimization and social media marketing are all valid strategies to attract visitors to your website, but you shouldn’t rely exclusively on these online sources of traffic. Expand your efforts into more traditional forms of marketing and soon enough you will notice your offline user base growing at a steady rate.
Business Cards: This is usually the first tactic on a business owner’s mind when they think about branding offline, and for a very good reason. Something as simple as a business card builds your business identity and gives an impression of professionalism. For most types of businesses, there are usually more costs involved in not having a business card than spending money on designing and making one. Sure, you can write down your website URL or spell it out for anyone who is interested, but wouldn’t it be great to be able to whip out a beautiful business card with your business name and website address on it.
Offline Branding: The entire world is filled with extra branding opportunities, some of them free. Retailers should always include the address of their website on their packaging. Similarly, all correspondence regarding your business should have your site’s URL under the signature. If you are planning a presentation for a local seminar or business meeting, include your website name and address on every slide and handout page.
You can also put the URL on your car, clothing, laptops and anything else you can get your hands on. The possibilities are endless. You may feel that none of these strategies will bring any significant online traffic, but these small additions cost you almost nothing in exchange for a potential to attract new and returning customers to your online business.
Print Media: You may not have the budget to buy TV spots or promote your website on billboards, but here are a list of highly effective alternatives that will increase your online branding at a reasonable price. Newspapers should be within your price range, and advertising there can turn out to be surprisingly profitable if you target the right publication and audience. A great way to encourage online visits is to include exclusive coupon codes in the print ads for readers to redeem. Free stuff and discounts have a huge effect on people and encourage them to act, especially if there is an expiration date.
Offline Networking: You probably realize how big the role of networking is for the success of any business, but there might still be opportunities for extra exposure right in front of you that you may be ignoring. For example, local seminars and business meetings can prove to be great places not only to hand out your business cards, but find investors for joint ventures as well as benefit from useful experience somebody shares with you. Attending chamber, charity, festivals, lectures and other venues will provide you with additional opportunities for business exposure.
Summary: New businesses in particular need to focus a large part of their efforts on finding the best offline strategies for marketing their website. Make yourself known and show that you’re serious by representing your company locally. It will help you build a strong identity for your business that will eventually carry over online with some customer loyalty and trust attached.